Thursday, August 18, 2016

For All Their Wars are Merry -- What's it really about?

I already mentioned what For All Their Wars Are Merry is about.

It's about...

"For all Their Wars Are Merry" is an examination of the uses and implications of songs in Irish terrorist organizations such as the IRA and all of their various and sundry splinter factions.  Basically, it will examine why the Irish have these songs as such a widespread phenomenon, and what the songs tell us about these Irish terrorists.

From songs like “My Little Armalite” to “Come out Ye Black and Tans,” one gets the feeling that the IRA doesn't quite take their British opponents as seriously as one would think, given the amount of bombs and firepower the IRA and all of its mutations has thrown at them in their fight to have Northern Ireland united with the Republic of Ireland, or at least independent of the United Kingdom.  
Along the way, it will cover why the Irish terrorists have such songs, why they apologize for their atrocities, how Catholic they thing they are.  It will trace these traditions going back back to the days of the Druidic Bards-Irish poets-of the early Celts some three thousand years ago, up to and including the poet Patrick Pearse in the 1916 Easter Uprising in Dublin.

Well, what does that look like?

The Limits of Terror: How to Define a Terrorist and a Rebel.
This is a little dry, but the short version is that this isn't just "IRA songs" because, well, while not all Rebels are terrorists, all terrorists are rebels.

Chapter 1: 
A Brief History of the Irish Rebel: A Sketch of Rebellion
A do a brief overview of the Irish versus the British, and noting that, gee, the Irish do have several distinct qualities to them, with some odd songs. To match. So we're going to use the songs to examine what makes the Irish unique in their blowing stuff up.

Chapter 2: 
Heroes and Hatreds: Examining Songs of Irish Rebel Heroes
From The Tain to today, the Irish do seem to like a good front man. It's the bard in them, I think.

Songs covered include
"Bold Robert Emmet”
“James Connolly”
“Kelly, the Boy From Killane”
“Henry Joy”
“Kevin Barry”

And more. Those are just the ones I mention in the first paragraph of the chapter. Literally.

Chapter 3: 
The Rebels Whom Bards Forgot: Rebels Who Were Not Honored
I highlight several people who had been either instrumental in the modern era of Irish rebels, and why they never got songs, even though they possibly should have.

Chapter 4:
Dances With Armalites: The Rebel Songs of Humor.
Obviously, I look at the Irish rebel songs that are almost jokes in execution. And they're a little insane.

The following are only SOME of what I use
“My Little Armalite”
“The Supergrasse”
“Auf Wiedershein Crossmaglen”
"The Black Watch"
“Come Out Ye Black and Tans"

Chapter 5:
Wrap the Flag Around Me, Boys: Examining Irish Memorial Songs
Again, the title, is kind of self explanatory.

SOME of the songs used?
“Boys of the Old Brigade”
“Tipperary So Far Away”
“Wrap The Green Flag Round Me, Boys”
“Lonely Woods of Upton,”

Chapter 6: 
Soldiers and Bombers: The Self-Image of the Rebel
Why don't the IRA have suicide bombers? How Catholic do they think they are? Are they religious, political, or communist?  Yes, communist. It was a thing for a bit. Yeah. It gets strange.

“Down by the Liffey Side”
“Provo’s Lullaby,”
"A Nation once again!” 
“A Soldiers’ Song”
Chapter 7:
Apologies and Other Oddities: The Irish Rebel as Catholic
Considering that "Catholic" is the most common impression of Irish Rebel groups, it deserved d a section to itself.

Songs? "A Sniper’s Promise” is the major new one. I also used songs from before.

Chapter 8: 
A Bard One Cannot Refuse: Comparing Songs of the Irish Rebel to Songs of the Italian Mafia.
Yes. I do a compare and contrast. 

Short version? The Mafia is not at all apologetic. Ever.

Chapter 9: Conclusion.
As noted.

And this book is dedicated to William D. Griffin ... my professor who died in 2011.


  1. And the price, release date, and whether it will be in print?

    1. That was tomorrow's blog, but Sunday, $3.50 for Kindle, $15 for print.


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